Eyes are the windows of the soul. Eyes play a vital role in our day to day lives and are perhaps the most precious gift we have. It can become embarrassing if we fail to recognize a person due to lack of good vision. However, health consequences of bad vision can be far worse.
The Department of Health (DOH), Central Tibetan Administration organizes regular free eye camps in various Tibetan settlements to improve and restore the vision of those who require surgery and also to identify refractive errors at early stage. This year on 18 July, 2015 free eye camp was organized at kollegal Dhondenling Tibetan Settlement, on 25th September, 2015 and on 6th October, 2015; free eye camps were organized at Miao Choepheling Tibetan settlement and Tezu Dhargyaling Tibetan settlement respectively.
The eye specialists from the nearby Indian cities were invited. The Tibetans attending the free eye camp were evaluated for vision (refractive error), eye problems and those requiring surgery especially cataract were advised surgery. A total of 115 individuals was screened for eye diseases at Kollegal Tibetan settlement on 11 July, 2015, out of which, 32 patients were identified with vision impairment i.e Cataract- 27, Pterygium- 5, Cataract & Pterygium- 1.
15 willing cataract blind patients received sight restoring operations; 12 Female & 3 Male. 5 patients received Pterygium surgery; 3 Female & 2 Male.1 patients with combined case of cataract and Pterygium was operated. Patients with minor problems were given specific medicines for various ophthalmic treatments.
A total of 159 patients were screened for eye diseases at Miao by a team of ophthalmologists from civil hospital, Tinsukia. 38 individuals were recommended for cataract surgery out of which 11 patients were successfully operated with restored vision. 43 individuals were identified with refractive error and advised spectacles. 78 needy patients were given eye drops as per doctor’s advice. At Tezu Tibetan settlement, 18 patients were screened for eye diseases and 2 people were advised for surgery.
We are now trying to reach-out at the remote population of Tuting and Tenzingang Settlements in the North-East. But the location of these places and unavailability eye specialist makes it very challenging to organize such camps.
We have also ongoing eye camps at the Tibetan settlements of Doon Valley, Poanta, puruwala, Herbertpur, Kamrao and sataun.
Helping regain the vision of marginalized and aged Tibetans would not have been possible without the support from The Tibet Fund and Eye Surgery Fund, USA, Yeshi Norbu Apello per onlus Tibet,Italy and German Aid to Tibetans, Germany. We are immensely thankful to our donors for their continual support, which helped restore the eye sight of individuals who are in the late stage of life and mostly who lacks support system.
We look forward for the continual support from the donors.